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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A full udder can be hard to milk

Saturday, my husband "taught" me how to milk. I had planned on not milking Sunday and taking a day off but I was too excited to see how it would go. So Sunday I got up bright and early, excited and prepared for the milk to flow like it had the day before.
Why do I think things might get easy?  Haven't I learned?  
Aurora had a nice, full udder this morning. That made the whole "grab higher on the udder" thing impossible. I had to go back to milking her tiny teat, exhausted hands, and hurting back. Once the udder was about half empty, I was able to grab higher and get a longer stream. Things did go quicker then, but it still took about 30-35 minutes to milk her out. An improvement for sure, but still a long time. 
I had Kevin milk the other side, while it was nice and full, to show him that it isn't always quite as easy as he had it Saturday. I had already been milking her for 40 minutes before he came Saturday, so she was nice and soft. He definitely didn't have as good of luck this time, but his hands do work better than mine because they are so much bigger. I have a hard time clamping down tight enough to keep the milk from rushing back up - which is bad for her. 
We still ended up with a quart of milk, but it was definitely not quick and easy as I had hoped. I'm going to stick it out a while longer and see if I can improve my technique and get better/faster. If not, I'm not sure what to do!  My hands and back can't take these long sessions daily. 
But first, I'll take a day off. One benefit to having a dam raised baby is that you can just not separate them and skip the morning milking, so that is what I did Sunday night for Monday morning. My body appreciated the rest. We will see what Tuesday brings.